Kashmir, a mesmerising beauty that will make you bend the knee. Jahangir called it “Heaven on Earth” and Kashmir lived up to the expectation. It somehow takes away my breath, every time I visit it. Sadly, Kashmir today is facing an economic crunch because of the tourism getting affected.

Kashmir Tourism
Gulmarg in the snow!

Kashmir is my hometown and I have seen it in many colours. I have seen it shedding blood, I have seen flowers blooming, I have seen it covered in snow, I have seen Dal Lake turning brown from blue and I have also seen heaven turning into something that I can’t call my home anymore.

In 1989, the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus took place and things never ended for Kashmir since then. Hindus were thrown out of their houses and people lost the count for the number of family members dying. Recently, there was another mishap in Kashmir that happened in Avantipora and in 2016, after Burhan Wani was killed, peace in Kashmir got disturbed.

Local policemen in Srinagar, Kashmir

After experiences like these Kashmir faces a dip in tourism.

80% of the locals in Kashmir are directly or indirectly related to tourism. Tourism being their primary source of economy, locals get badly affected.

How Affected Do Locals In Kashmir Get With Tourism Dip

As mentioned earlier, tourism is the main source of economy for Kashmir. There is a dip in the lives of the locals when there is a dip in tourism. According to the locals, 70-75% of their business is affected when tourism is low. 2019 specifically has been bad for the Kashmir Tourism Industry. After the Avantipora attack, the peak seasons like June-September also experienced a sink.

Media, according to the locals is playing a key role in defacing Kashmir!

There is a lot of negative publicity happening for Kashmir which is not good for tourism in Kashmir.

– Beenish, Dove Homestays, Srinagar

The media should understand every story they publish affect the lives of locals staying in Kashmir.

Media doesn’t support Kashmir, the truth about our hospitality is not revealed. They just show half-truth which is intoxicating. Kashmir’s reputation is being affected because of it because of the stories media presents. 

– Imran, Local Driver

What Role Does Media Play In Kashmir Tourism

I would like to start with an example. The media after the “Avantipora” attack portrayed “Pulwama” as the place of attack while in reality, Pulwama is 17-18 km away from Avantipora. This is not the first time they have messed it up. They bring on the issues and then debate on it. For TRPs? for patriotism? I don’t know. But they are surely not giving out a good picture of Kashmir.

Tourists do understand that media intentionally or unintentionally is defacing Kashmir but why believe them then?

Here is a group of tourists sharing their experience in Kashmir. If you look at the views in these videos, they’ll be less because nobody thought of promoting these videos. But debate videos have a million views somehow. I wonder why???

Unfortunately, young people are becoming a huge part of the protesters. They are paid by the separatists and they do not hesitate to do it because the economy is anyway not helping them.

How Are Tourists Treated In Kashmir

It has always been observed that the tourists in Kashmir are deliberately not targeted. Instead, they are given a safe passage to leave.

Kashmir’s livelihood is dependent on tourism. There is no other source of income for them.

Media needs to stop exaggerating things for their own benefit. They don’t realise that their hunger for TRP is actually ruining things for the locals in Kashmir. Spreading incomplete information about Kashmir is not appreciated.

Should Kashmir Be Visited?

Why not? It is a beautiful place and no tourist has ever complaint to the locals about the hospitality and respect they have been offered. This place is a must-visit and moreover, because of the media, don’t change your opinion. Visit the place and experience its breathtaking beauty. You will surely visit again. Kashmir needs our support. The locals need our help.

Let us know in the comments section below if you want to visit Kashmir or even if you have been there, we would love to know your experiences. Also, check out this article on how you can search unbiased news on topics such as this.

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